Friday, January 7, 2011

Tom McClintock: The Prosperity Congress

by the Left Coast Rebel

After you are mind-numbed by the daily assault on our liberty -- especially in the state California -- a voice for the way things should be goes unnoticed. Sometimes a politician that is actually good, a patriot and one that is looking out for the best interests of this nation and it's people gets lost in the fog of Mordor on the Potomac.

Simply said, when we come across a politician that is a true patriot and limited government advocate, we need to stand up and applaud such an individual.

California representative Tom McClintock is one such person.

Congressman Tom McClintock is one of a few rare breed in the GOP that never saw capitulation to Democrat statism as acceptable for the Republican party. The guy even voted against "popular" legislation like the Cash for Clunkers program and has stood by the Goldwater/Reagan vision even as the credo waxed and waned in the past.

In fact - if you didn't know it - McClintock provided the inspiration for LCR's motto, "Freedom, Abundance, Responsibility" in a speech that he gave a couple of years ago. You can read the McClintock-inspired post here.

Yesterday Congressman Tom McClintock gave a speech on the House floor that moved me, albeit not as much as the magnum opus referenced above. Listen to his words:

M. Speaker:

I rise to express the hope that historians will look back on the 112th Congress as the session that restored American prosperity – and to express my strong agreement with the new leaders of this House who have declared that every action of this body must be measured against this goal.

We speak of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” but jobs are a product of prosperity. And prosperity is the product of freedom.

Government does not create jobs or wealth – it merely redistributes them. Jobs and wealth can only be created through the free exchange of goods and services in a free market. Government’s role is to create and protect the conditions which promote prosperity.

If I give you a dollar for a cup of coffee, what’s going on in that transaction? I’m telling you that your cup of coffee is worth more to me than my dollar. And at the same time, you’re telling me that my dollar is worth more to you than your cup of coffee. We make that exchange and both of us go away with something of greater value than we took in – each of us goes away richer.

That is the freedom that creates prosperity. That simple exchange – whether for a cup of coffee or for a multi-billion dollar acquisition – is what creates wealth.

But now suppose some third party butts its nose into this transaction. “The coffee must be between 110 and 130 degrees; it has to include a swizzle stick; it must be covered if it is to be consumed more than 25 feet from the point of sale” – and on and on. Every one of these restrictions reduces the value of that exchange for one or both of us.

That’s the fundamental problem that we face today. Our government has not only failed to protect the freedom that creates prosperity, but it has become destructive of that freedom.

To create jobs we must restore prosperity and to restore prosperity we must restore freedom.

We must restore the freedom of choice that gives consumers the ultimate say over the output of our economy. In a free and prosperous society, consumers vote every day with their own dollars on what kind of light-bulbs they prefer, on how they wish to get to work, on what foods they like, on how much water they want in their toilets, on what kind of cars they want or on what kind of housing they desire. These consumer choices signal – every day – what things are actually worth and what our economy will actually produce. Government is destroying the elegant simplicity of this process, and this Congress must reverse that destruction.

We must restore the freedom of individuals to enjoy the fruit of their own labor so that they can make these decisions for themselves once again.

That’s why excessive government spending is so destructive to prosperity – it destroys the freedom of individuals to make their own decisions over what to spend and where to invest their own money. It robs them of both the ability and incentive to create prosperity.

Presidents like Coolidge, Truman, Reagan and Clinton who have reduced government spending relative to GDP all produced dramatic increases in productivity, prosperity and the general welfare of our nation.

And Presidents like Hoover, Roosevelt, Bush and Obama who have increased government spending relative to GDP all produced or prolonged or deepened periods of economic recession, hardship and malaise.

Our government is embarked on the latter course, and this Congress must reverse that direction.

Government has an important role to play in the marketplace. It is there to assure that representations are accurate and that contracts are enforced – in other words, you have to tell the truth and you have to keep your promises. Government exists to assure that the currency is stable and reliable and that property rights are secure.

When it fulfills this fundamental role, it maximizes the freedom that a buyer and a seller have to assess their own needs and resources and to make those exchanges that allow both to go away better off than they were. When it steps beyond this role, it destroys the conditions that maximize prosperity.

M. Speaker, let us together revive and restore the freedom and prosperity of this nation and fulfill that sacred command inscribed on our Liberty Bell: “To proclaim liberty throughout ALL the land, and unto ALL the inhabitants there of.”

Cross posted to LCR.


  1. In a nutshell what creates wealth is the production of a product(s) the market {consumer} places value on and will freely exchange its dollars for to acquire named product(s).

    That which adds unnecessary costs through bureaucratic regulation reduces the value of the product to the consumer s well as the incentive of the producer to continue production.

    A simple concept the government seems incapable of understanding at times.

  2. "Government does not create jobs or wealth – it merely redistributes them. Jobs and wealth can only be created through the free exchange of goods and services in a free market. Government’s role is to create and protect the conditions which promote prosperity."

    This is simplistic nonsense. First of all, the government does create jobs. We don't have an al-volunteer, free government workforce. Government contractors don't just sign those contracts for sh!ts and giggles. You'd have to be an idiot not to know that. Secondly, the Free Market only works if 1) the government enforces contracts, 2) provides the secure environment requisite to do business, and 3) provides the infrastructure for business to be done. I mean, if you really want to business in Somalia, be my guest, but don't expect the same opportunities you have here.

    I hate simplistic, platitudinal clap-trap like this. As for Goldwater and Reagan - they compromised with Democrats to get things done. They weren't zealous, ridiculous ideologues living in Dreamytimeland.


  3. JMJ:
    You said:
    "First of all, the government does create jobs."

    Yes. Crap jobs that are usually manned by incompetent dullards who need a government teat to suckle, TSA anyone?, receive ridiculous benefits that are one of the reasons we have such a crippling national debt, and are waaaaay overpaid.

    JMJ, you're starting to really worry me that you are just a helpless puppet of the liberal Socialists who cannot do for himself. How much did they pay you? How many pieces of silver did you receive to act like a completely government dependent sycophant? Was it Obama cash, or was it long before ACORN got him into office?

    Seriously. You are unbelievable. I thought people like you only existed on MSNBC or The Daily Kos.

    Donald in Bethel, CT

  4. Ya' know, Donald, people, fellow human beings like you and me, are generally not "incompetent dullards." They are people doing a job and trying to do it well and with pride. I did a little work for the government over the years and I have to say that I'm quite proud of that and I did a really good job. I worked my bung off as best I could and produced excellent work. I hate it when you conservatives bash everything and everyone "government" for everything bad under the sun. I love my country and am very proud of the little bit of work I did for it. And I made damned sure that I was objective, economic, diplomatic, and most importantly, ethical, in my work. Stop bashing government workers. It makes you righties look kinda bad. You might not mean it that way, but it sure sounds that way.


  5. JMJ,

    DMV, IRS, Post Office, Interstate Highway Maintenance, Veteran's Administration, Social Security office, Medicare office...should I continue?

    And please do not try to belittle "righties" because of what I said. That is a typical victimhood tactic of the left. That's like saying since a white guy you might know says he doesn't like minorities, that all white folks are racist. Please. I hardly speak for the whole of the "right".

    Donald in Bethel, CT

  6. Should you continue? What the heck is your complaint? You think you can just name a bunch of agencies and somehow make a point?


  7. Les, he is my Congressman and accept your thanks for voting for him.

  8. Great Post, Les. I wish we had someone that was so smart and good here in crap state, IL. It's worse than CA now!


As this site encourages free speech and expression any and all honest political commentary is acceptable. Comments with cursing or vulgar language will not be posted.

Effective 3/4/18 Anonymous commenting has been disabled and this site has reverted to comment moderation. This unfortunate action is necessary due to the volume of Anonymous comments that are either off topic or irrelevant to the post subject.

While we appreciate and encourage all political viewpoints we feel no obligation to post comments that fail to rise to the standards of decency and decorum we have set for Rational Nation USA.

Thank you for your understanding... The management.